David N. Ross Archive

  • Fighters of Porphyra This installment of Purple Duck Games‘ „..of Porphyra“-series clocks in at 29 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 25 pages, though it should be noted that these are laid out for digest-size. When printing them out, you can fit up to 4 on a single page, providing your eyesight’s good enough.   Anyways, we begin, somewhat surprisingly, with global rules for fighters in the Porphyra setting: Fighters get 4 + Int skills per level (a houserule I also use) and only take a -2 penalty when wielding weapons sans proficiency. If a fighter’s Intelligence is less than 13,, it is treated as 13 for the purpose of combat […]

    Fighters of Porphyra

    Fighters of Porphyra This installment of Purple Duck Games‘ „..of Porphyra“-series clocks in at 29 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 25 pages, though it should be noted that these are laid out for digest-size. When printing them out, you can fit up to 4 on a single page, providing your eyesight’s good enough.   Anyways, we begin, somewhat surprisingly, with global rules for fighters in the Porphyra setting: Fighters get 4 + Int skills per level (a houserule I also use) and only take a -2 penalty when wielding weapons sans proficiency. If a fighter’s Intelligence is less than 13,, it is treated as 13 for the purpose of combat […]

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  • Purple Mountain II: Desolate Dwarven Delve (DCC) The second level of the conversion of PDG’s old-school dungeon delve in the Purple Mountain is 38 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/patreon-thanks, 2 pages SRD, leaving us with 34 pages of content. The pages are formatted for digest-size (6’’ by 9’’, A5), which means that you can fit approximately 4 pages on a sheet of paper if you’re trying to conserve ink/toner.   All righty, first things first: While this is obviously level 2 of a mega-dungeon, the pdf does come with advice for judges to use the dungeon presented herein as both a sequel to level 1 (including some troubleshooting advice) and as a stand-alone offering. Being dwarven-themed […]

    Purple Mountain II: Desolate Dwarven Delve (DCC)

    Purple Mountain II: Desolate Dwarven Delve (DCC) The second level of the conversion of PDG’s old-school dungeon delve in the Purple Mountain is 38 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/patreon-thanks, 2 pages SRD, leaving us with 34 pages of content. The pages are formatted for digest-size (6’’ by 9’’, A5), which means that you can fit approximately 4 pages on a sheet of paper if you’re trying to conserve ink/toner.   All righty, first things first: While this is obviously level 2 of a mega-dungeon, the pdf does come with advice for judges to use the dungeon presented herein as both a sequel to level 1 (including some troubleshooting advice) and as a stand-alone offering. Being dwarven-themed […]

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  • Classes of the Lost Spheres: Shadow Weaver This pdf clocks in at 33 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/Introduction, 6.5 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a non-prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, we begin this pdf with something I really applaud: The book notes all the cool shadow-themed 3pp-options (with hyperlinks – big kudos!!) out there as it states its mission: You see, the class depicted herein is distinct from the other shadow-themed options in a variety of ways, namely in its focus:   One look at […]

    Classes of the Lost Spheres: Shadow Weaver

    Classes of the Lost Spheres: Shadow Weaver This pdf clocks in at 33 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/Introduction, 6.5 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a non-prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, we begin this pdf with something I really applaud: The book notes all the cool shadow-themed 3pp-options (with hyperlinks – big kudos!!) out there as it states its mission: You see, the class depicted herein is distinct from the other shadow-themed options in a variety of ways, namely in its focus:   One look at […]

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  • Asian Archetypes: Martial This collection of archetypes clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content – it should be noted that these are tightly packed, though!   All righty, we’re starting with the bloodrider cavalier, but in order to understand it, I think it may be prudent to mention the mounted combat-follow-up feats that complement it: Mounted Skirmish lets your mount make a double movement and lets you perform a ranged or melee attack at one point during the movement, with the […]

    Asian Archetypes: Martial

    Asian Archetypes: Martial This collection of archetypes clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages of content – it should be noted that these are tightly packed, though!   All righty, we’re starting with the bloodrider cavalier, but in order to understand it, I think it may be prudent to mention the mounted combat-follow-up feats that complement it: Mounted Skirmish lets your mount make a double movement and lets you perform a ranged or melee attack at one point during the movement, with the […]

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  • Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were considered […]

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were considered […]

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  • Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (system neutral) This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they […]

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (system neutral)

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (system neutral) This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they […]

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  • Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (5e) This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were […]

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (5e)

    Places of Power: Raveneye Sanatorium (5e) This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, we all have presumably played an adventure in a Sanatorium, right? At least those of us who enjoy dark fantasy and roleplaying games will know the tropes at this point. There’s a reason for that, and it is mainly due to reality and how we see sanatoriums and the treatment methods employed there – while, from our modern perspective, e.g. lobotomies may look barbaric, not so long ago, they were […]

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  • Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium This massive book clocks in at 255 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 248 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, so this is a massive book for the…let’s say, more unconventional races out there. The respective write-ups have a couple of things in common, so let’s start with establishing that: For the most part, the races have either not been properly covered in the respective books that introduced them or […]

    Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium

    Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium This massive book clocks in at 255 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 248 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.   Okay, so this is a massive book for the…let’s say, more unconventional races out there. The respective write-ups have a couple of things in common, so let’s start with establishing that: For the most part, the races have either not been properly covered in the respective books that introduced them or […]

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  • Horror Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages – if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.   I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.   Now, the first thing I’d ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.   Here is Part I. Here is Part II. […]

    Horror Adventures

    Horror Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages – if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.   I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.   Now, the first thing I’d ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.   Here is Part I. Here is Part II. […]

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  • 20 Things: Creepy Graveyard (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this supplement with an emphasis of the “creepy” aspect promised in the title – namely, we receive a total of 8 different, system-neutral haunts – consider these to be slightly supernatural window-dressing. When e.g. the holy symbol on a local woman’s grave splits right in the middle and worms pour forth, you know that you’ve found an intriguing place…and her crisis of faith prior to death…perhaps there is […]

    20 Things: Creepy Graveyard (system neutral)

    20 Things: Creepy Graveyard (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin this supplement with an emphasis of the “creepy” aspect promised in the title – namely, we receive a total of 8 different, system-neutral haunts – consider these to be slightly supernatural window-dressing. When e.g. the holy symbol on a local woman’s grave splits right in the middle and worms pour forth, you know that you’ve found an intriguing place…and her crisis of faith prior to death…perhaps there is […]

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  • Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells This installment of the Mythic Magic-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look at this book!   So, at this point, you probably are familiar with what these books by now – if not, the pitch is simple: We get mythic versions of all spells contained in Ultimate Intrigue and thus, we begin with an alphabetic list of the spells featured within this book. However, there is an important paradigm shift in this book, courtesy of the changed design paradigm Paizo introduced […]

    Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells

    Mythic Magic: Intrigue Spells This installment of the Mythic Magic-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let’s take a look at this book!   So, at this point, you probably are familiar with what these books by now – if not, the pitch is simple: We get mythic versions of all spells contained in Ultimate Intrigue and thus, we begin with an alphabetic list of the spells featured within this book. However, there is an important paradigm shift in this book, courtesy of the changed design paradigm Paizo introduced […]

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  • Lands of Porphyra Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting clocks in at 214 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with a massive 219 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Porphyra…Purple Duck Games’ in-house setting is massive, it’s regional (and extremely crunchy) player’s guide clocking in regularly at 60+ pages…and unlike most campaign settings, this world was not crowdfunded…it just slowly, steadily, came to be…which is an impressive feat in my book. Anyways, Porphyra’s details and unique components are many and have been suffusing Purple Duck Games-supplements for years: Whether it’s the unique mini-game arabakmpsi, the lovecraft gaming toolkit or other offerings – never obtrusive, but the […]

    Lands of Porphyra Campaign Setting

    Lands of Porphyra Campaign Setting This massive campaign setting clocks in at 214 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with a massive 219 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Porphyra…Purple Duck Games’ in-house setting is massive, it’s regional (and extremely crunchy) player’s guide clocking in regularly at 60+ pages…and unlike most campaign settings, this world was not crowdfunded…it just slowly, steadily, came to be…which is an impressive feat in my book. Anyways, Porphyra’s details and unique components are many and have been suffusing Purple Duck Games-supplements for years: Whether it’s the unique mini-game arabakmpsi, the lovecraft gaming toolkit or other offerings – never obtrusive, but the […]

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